Vietnam to Begin Rice Exports to Iran

he southern Vietnamese city of Can Tho expects to export its first batches of rice to Iran in the last quarter of 2017, deputy director of the city’s Department of Industry and Trade said. At a meeting to review import-export activities organized by the city’s People’s Committee on Wednesday, Huynh Trung Tru also said a company in Iran in August directly dealt with a rice firm in Can Tho to finalize a contract to export to Iran 100,000 tons of rice from now until the end of the year, Vietnam News reported. “Previously, Can Tho did not export rice to this market,” the official said.

According to Tru, if rice shipment to Iran meets favorable conditions, the city hopes that the partner will sign a longer term contract next year. Tru said demand for rice imports has increased in many markets such as Bangladesh, the Philippines and Iran. In the first nine months of 2017, the city’s total rice export volume reached over 638,000 tons, bringing a turnover of $262 million, up 22% and 20% year-on-year, respectively.

According to VFA, in the first nine months of the year, Vietnam exported 4.57 million tons of rice, reaping a turnover of $2.02 billion, rising by 20.8% in volume and 18.6% in value against the figures of the corresponding period last year. The association forecasts that in 2017, the country’s rice exports will reach 5.7 million tons, including 1.8 million tons in the last quarter, and 800,000 tons higher than 2016. More than 1 million tons of rice worth $963 million were imported to Iran during the five months to August 22, registering a 79% and 102.5% growth in weight and value respectively compared with the corresponding period of last year.

With more than 696,000 tons, India was the main exporter followed by Pakistan, the UAE, Thailand, Turkey and Iraq, ISNA reported. Last year’s imports stood at around 760,000 tons. Imports are taking place while every year and during the rice harvest season, the government bans rice imports in support of local farmers and domestic production. “The ongoing seasonal ban on rice imports will be in effect until Nov. 21,” Deputy Agriculture Minister Yazdan Seif recently said, noting that the ban went into effect in August. Traders who have already registered orders can import their cargos after the deadline. During the ban period, no imports will take place, Mehr News Agency quoted Seif as saying.

Abbas Keshavarz, also a deputy agriculture minister, said nearly 2.3 million tons of rice have been produced in the country in the current Iranian year (started March 21). Iranians consume 3 million tons of rice a year. The two northern provinces of Gilan and Mazandaran are home to a majority of Iran’s paddy fields. According to the Central and West Asia Rice Center, with around 54% of Central and West Asia’s paddy fields located in Iran, the country accounts for 61% of the regions’ combined rice production

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